Once a Brat
This title is part of the universe.
Experienced dominant Marcus Tremayne has a stalker. On the plus side, the boy following him around his local leather club is gorgeous and a self-professed submissive. Unfortunately, he’s also inexperienced, bratty, and liable to drive Marcus insane within his incessant chatter and questions.
Bret Daniels fell head over heels with Marcus the moment he first saw him. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to get Marcus’s attention and prove his worth as a submissive. He might not be a traditional sub, but he knows he has a lot to offer a dom who can handle his quirks.
When Marcus gives in and agrees to do a scene with Bret, sparks fly. One scene quickly becomes another, and another. But will it be a case of once a brat, always a brat? Bret intends to prove to Marcus that—expectations and experiences aside—he deserves his master’s collar.
This title comes with no special warnings.
Caution: The following details may be considered spoilerish.
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“Your shadow’s here again.” Jack clapped Marcus Tremayne cheerfully on the back, making no attempt to hide his amusement.
Marcus sighed and tipped back his head to glare at the ceiling several yards above him. They were standing in one of those rare but wonderful spaces where a man could wield any whip he liked without worrying about damaging the fixtures and fittings. Unfortunately, he doubted that the Spread Eagle’s dungeon monitors would take kindly to one of their patrons selecting one of the decorative bullwhips that hung on the walls and using it to throttle the little brat who insisted on stalking him.
The third man in their group, McCormack, wasn’t generally the laughing type, but even his lips twitched in response to Marcus’s discomfort.
“It’s not funny,” Marcus muttered.
Jack chuckled. “Sorry, mate, but it really is.”
Marcus folded his arms and stared ferociously at the scene being set up around the whipping post opposite them. He was not going to turn around. He wasn’t even going to look over his shoulder. He’d be damned if he’d give the boy the satisfaction.
The little sod’s eyes turned into laser beams and threatened to burn through the back of his neck. Worse, they fried his self-control. He managed to hold out for all of thirty seconds.
“I need a drink.” Marcus strode past the whipping post and out of the play area, pointedly ignoring both Jack’s chuckles and McCormack’s mutters about starting as he meant to go on.
Marcus didn’t intend to go on. He didn’t intend to do anything with the boy—really, he didn’t. As if to prove that to himself, Marcus quickened his pace. He’d show everyone in the Spread Eagle, not to mention the increasingly rebellious little voice in the back of his mind, that he genuinely wanted to lose his stalker.
“Whiskey, double, whatever brand you’ve got to hand.”
The bartender gave Marcus one look and poured his drink without uttering a word. He obviously had no interest in crossing a dom who had sub trouble.
Marcus rolled his eyes and tossed his drink down.
I’ll have another.
The words were right on the tip of his tongue. At the last moment, he bit them back so hard he risked drawing blood. If he had another drink, he wouldn’t be clearheaded enough to play a scene with his stalker.
Forget whispered voices from the depths of his subconscious—suddenly the idea was in the forefront of his mind. Refusing to play with the boy was no longer an option. Somehow, over the past few weeks, what had initially been unthinkable had grown to be irresistible.
“You know, you’ve got to be the worst stalker on the planet.”
The bartender gave him a strange look, but Marcus didn’t falter. He had faith in the boy’s persistence if nothing else. He hadn’t managed to lose the guy in the crowd during the last few weeks—he wouldn’t have out-manoeuvred him tonight either.
“Come here, sit down.”
Marcus indicated the barstool next to him, and began a mental count.
One . . . two . . . three—
A man climbed up onto the stool. The bartender stopped staring at Marcus as if he might need to call a psychiatrist and went off to serve another customer.
“Do you have a name?” Marcus demanded, still looking straight ahead.
“Yes, sir—it’s Bret Daniels.”
Marcus finally turned his head. The guy was young, angelic-looking, and generally stunning. No shock there. He’d been at the edge of Marcus’s field of vision for, what? It had to be at least four or five weeks now—since the beginning of January, at least.
“When I told you that I believe it’s a dom’s place to invite a sub to play, and not a sub’s place to put himself forward by approaching a dom, that wasn’t an invitation for you to stalk me,” Marcus pointed out.
“Really, sir?” Bret opened his big blue eyes wide in apparent shock. “I thought maybe it was one of your kinks, sir. I’m new to the scene, you see. I’m really not sure who’s who in the local clubs, or what everyone is into.”
Marcus ignored the blatant bollocks at the start of Bret’s speech and homed in on the sole piece of interesting information. “Exactly how new to the scene are you?”
“Well . . .” Bret seemed to think about it carefully, but Marcus was already sure that meant bugger all with this particular sub. “I made my New Year’s resolution on the last day of December. I came here the first day it was open in January—that was the second—and . . .” His eyes narrowed with concentration. “I spotted you about three minutes after that.”
“You’re telling me you’ve never done a scene?”
Bret tilted his head to one side. “If you—”
Marcus held up a palm before Bret had a chance to get started. “One word answer.”
“Sir,” Bret said.
Marcus forced down a sigh. “Fine—if you want to add a “sir” to your response, you can. But I want it preceded by either a yes or a no, understand?”
Part of Marcus wanted to cheer, just for getting them to that point. “That’s better.” He settled himself more comfortably on his stool. “Have you ever submitted to a man?”
Marcus wasn’t sure why he should feel disappointed, but he couldn’t ignore the upwelling of dissatisfaction from the pit of his stomach merely because it didn’t make any sense.
Bret raised a hand, like a schoolchild looking for permission to speak.
Marcus raised an eyebrow. Apparently that was authorisation enough.
Marcus frowned. “What?”
“Yes, sir.” Bret paused for a moment. “You, sir,” he repeated.
The frown deepened as Marcus’s confusion grew. “Me, sir, what?”
Bret nibbled at his bottom lip, as if suddenly at a loss for words.
Marcus mentally cursed. “You can expand on your answer, but only this once—and keep it brief.”
“I’ve submitted to you, sir.”
“What?” Marcus knew he’d have remembered that. Bret wasn’t the kind of sub a man could forget.
“I waited for you to talk to me first.” Bret tilted his head to one side. “That counts, doesn’t it?”
“You’ve never submitted to another man?” Marcus specified.
Bret smiled and absentmindedly pushed a lock of golden-blond hair off his forehead. “No, sir.”
“You’ve never knelt at another man’s feet, worn his collar, taken a spanking?”
Marcus frowned and purposely ignored the sense of satisfaction that welled up inside him. Turning the possibilities over in his head, he concentrated on working out if there was some angle or other he’d missed along the way. “What about submitting to a woman?”
“Gay, sir,” Bret said.
“And how old are you?”
Marcus scrutinised the submissive’s face. It was a feasible answer, but it was also provided by a slippery little bugger who could probably be counted on to manipulate the truth at the slightest opportunity. “Give me some ID.”
“Certainly, sir.” Bret hopped off his stool, took his wallet out of his back pocket, and handed Marcus a student ID card, and a driver’s licence for good measure.
Marcus compared each photo with the man sitting before him. Everything matched. Bret Daniels. Twenty years old. Possibly the only guy on the planet who could make a passport-style photo look hot. He was officially legal and eligible to play. Marcus couldn’t have felt happier checking the numbers on a winning lottery ticket.
“You’re a student?”
Marcus handed the IDs back.
“History, sir,” Bret said, as he pushed his wallet into his pocket and hopped back up onto the stool.
Marcus raised an eyebrow. “What?”
“Oh, of course.” But Marcus wasn’t thinking about degree courses. He was wondering what Bret would look like naked and bound, his arse reddened and his cock hard.
He wasn’t sure if his attraction to Bret centred around an appreciation of his bratty attitude or if he actually wanted the opportunity to cure Bret of it, but he couldn’t deny the way his pulse sped up in anticipation of playing with him. Bret was so unlike his usual submissives, so new, so untrained, and he seemed to lack any interest in copying the things so many other submissives usually did by rote. It was all surprisingly fascinating.
“Do you know what a safeword is?” Marcus asked.
Bret’s eyes suddenly gleamed with expectation. “Yes, sir!”
If Marcus had any lingering doubts about Bret’s status as a novice, they died. His attraction doubled. “No. It needs to be shorter—something that’s easy to yell out if you panic once I’ve got you bound and helpless.”
Bret stared up at the ceiling for a moment. “Toad, sir.”
Marcus wasn’t going to ask where that came from. He was reasonably sure he didn’t want to know. More to the point, it would take Bret far too long to explain. Now that he’d acknowledged a scene was going to take place, Marcus wasn’t in the mood to wait around, not with this man. He needed Bret to be under his complete control—now.
He stood up and stepped straight into Bret’s personal space.
“Here’s the deal. If you’re going to do a scene with me, I expect you to learn quickly. Can you do that?”
Marcus stepped forwards another half pace, until Bret had to spread his legs to make room for him. Adrenaline pumped through Marcus’s veins as he began to take possession of the air around Bret.
“You know, sir, I like this two-word-answer game. It’s fun.”
“The first thing I expect you to learn,” Marcus said as if Bret hadn’t spoken, “is precisely how far I’ll let you push your luck.” On the last word, he grabbed the waistband of Bret’s jeans and dragged him forwards until he balanced precariously on the edge of his stool. “And, in case you haven’t realised it, the line you shouldn’t have crossed is already several paces behind you.”
Bret caught hold of Marcus’s shoulders as he struggled to regain his balance.
“Hands on the back of your neck,” Marcus snapped.
“Yes, sir.” There was no fear in the words, but they were obviously spoken by a man who’d just realised he might have made a tactical error. Bret’s movements were cautious when he arranged his hands as ordered.
Marcus undid the button of Bret’s jeans. Holding Bret’s gaze, he found the zipper tab by feel, and tugged it down. Even with the noise of the men chatting around them and the sounds of various scenes drifting in from other parts of the Spread Eagle, Marcus made out each scrape of the metal teeth within the zip.
Better still, he heard Bret let out a shocked little gasp. Gorgeous.
Still studying Bret’s angelic features, Marcus guided the waistband of Bret’s boxers down and freed his cock. The boy had had the foresight, or perhaps the misfortune, to wear jeans that were cut both baggy enough and low-slung enough for Marcus to expose his cock without needing to order him off the barstool.
Bret’s breathing sped up, but that had to be excitement. The moment Marcus wrapped his fingers around Bret’s cock, he knew that Bret was as into it as he was. Bret’s erection stood proudly away from his body, begging to be toyed with according to a dominant’s whims.
Marcus stroked the hard shaft several times, assessing it with his fingers while he held Bret’s gaze, getting the best possible read on Bret’s emotions before he began the game in earnest.
Lust. Considering the situation, Marcus could hardly blame Bret for that one overriding emotion—not when he’d been hardening behind his fly ever since he’d realised the boy was in the club. Of course, there was no need to tell Bret that.
“Excited?” he teased instead.
“What? There’s no other two-word answer you’d prefer to give?”
“Um . . .”
Marcus tutted, thoroughly enjoying watching the boy’s struggles. “Can’t you do better than that?”
Bret blinked rapidly, as if that would help him pull his brain above his belt loops.
“Very, sir,” he offered.
“Or?” Marcus pushed, speeding his hand up slightly, making sure Bret remained right on the edge.
“Incredibly, sir,” Bret hazarded. “Thoroughly, sir.”
Even if he was reasonably impressed, Marcus wasn’t about to show it. “Anything else?”
Bret swallowed rapidly. “Um . . . frustrated-ly?”
Marcus’s lips twitched into a lopsided smile. “Oh, sweetheart, you really don’t have any idea what you’ve got yourself into, do you?”
Bret blinked twice. Unless he was attempting eyelash Morse code, there probably wasn’t any great meaning behind that.
Marcus lifted his free hand to his mouth and used his teeth to tug at the leather wrapped around his wrist. Small, metal press studs released one after another and the length of leather fell away from his wrist.
It barely took Marcus a moment to have most of the available fasteners snapped together again. The leather neatly encircled the base of both Bret’s cock and balls. Marcus had only had to use one extra press stud to achieve the desired result, meaning there was less than half an inch of difference between the size of Bret’s genitals and Marcus’s wrist. Impressive.
Marcus studied his handiwork, relishing the picture he’d created. Another little gasp from Bret let Marcus know that he’d looked down and was just as impressed as he was.
The cock ring held Bret’s entire package away from his body, presenting it to Marcus. In theory, at least, it could have offered Bret to any man who happened to walk past and spot an interesting toy with which he might be inclined to play, but for once in his life, Marcus wasn’t in the mood to share.
He tugged at the neatly trimmed hairs just above the cock ring. “You might enjoy acting like a brat, but I much prefer to play the tease. Wind me up, and you’ll be lucky if I let you come before you claim your pension—and who knows when the hell that will be these days.”
“Tease, sir?” It wasn’t clear from his tone if Bret was wary, horrified, or fascinated by the prospect.
“That’s right.” Marcus reached into his back pocket, pulled out a leather lead, and clipped it onto the metal loop attached to the cock ring for that exact purpose. The way Marcus had wrapped the leather around Bret’s package, the loop was behind Bret’s balls. Any tension on the lead would lift him up and forwards for inspection. Perfect.
“Hands behind your back.”
Bret obeyed without hesitation.
Marcus moved around Bret’s stool and rearranged his hands, hooking each of Bret’s thumbs through the backmost belt loop on his jeans, allowing him to hold them up without letting him move his hands anywhere near his cock. As his control over the boy deepened, the unusual intensity of Marcus’s reaction to him increased too.
Marcus smiled and stepped back without a word. He still held the lead in his hand. It curved around Bret’s hip and disappeared in front of his body. Marcus barely moved two feet away from the barstools before he felt it tug against the cock ring. Bret twisted around, his eyes open wide with shock. It didn’t take him too long to get the idea. He climbed gingerly down off the high stool, his hands still behind his back.
Another tug encouraged Bret forwards. Marcus kept his eyes on him as he walked backwards, trusting that his progress was slow enough to allow anyone behind him to get out of his way. He didn’t look over his shoulder to check his path. He knew the club well. His attention remained firmly fixed on Bret.
It was easy to believe that this was Bret’s first foray into submission. No one hardened to the leather scene could have been so fascinated by a simple cock ring. It was equally obvious the boy could prove to be a natural at it before the end of the night, if he gave up on the back-chat.
And he’s all mine.
When Marcus finally turned his back on Bret, confident the boy could walk behind him without too much trouble, his grip tightened around the lead. Suddenly, he found himself thinking he’d like to keep hold of it for far longer than one scene. He shook his head. Whatever insanity fuelled Bret, it was obviously contagious.
# # #
I adored Once a Brat; it’s exactly what you expect from Kim Dare . . . [P]erfectly beautiful . . .
Very enjoyable erotic romance with a touch of fun! [T]his work really showcased [Kim Dare's] talented writing style.
Witty, sensitive and downright enjoyable . . . The story placed a grin on my lips and warmth in my heart.
The sex scenes are of course oh so amazing! I highly recommend it.
I love a good BDSM book . . . Kim Dare consistently writes some of the best I’ve read.